http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVrUc_rJ_g0 Scales are the foundation of most music. A scale is a pattern of intervals that repeat every octave that is built on a tonic pitch.
A tonic pitch is the first pitch of a scale. The tonic pitch is also the letter name of the scale.
Major scales are built from a combination of half steps and whole steps.
A half step is the smallest distance between two pitches, this also referred to sometimes as a minor second.
A whole step is the distance of two halfsteps. A whole step will sometimes be referred to as a major second.
To create any major scale you must begin on a tonic pitch and create the following interval pattern:
W W H W W W H
This pattern is two whole steps (W) followed by a half step (H) then three wholsteps and one last half step.
In the video above the example is the C major scale. Begin with the tonic pitch C then go up the scale in the interval pattern of W W H W W W H. That will produce the notes C D E F G A B C.
Here is that C major scale in standard notation: